Rescuing overexposed, off-color images
We went to a dance program yesterday. My granddaughters, Lindsey and Scarlett were both in it. It’s one of my least favorite shooting venues. We’re seated too far back in the auditorium so I had to sneak up to the front for their numbers. I shot direct flash because there was no ceiling to bounce off of. The combination of bright fluorescent lights and flash fooled the camera so the color was off. The well lit kids and the black curtain also fooled the camera so all of the pictures were overexposed. I was shooting HD video and taking a still picture every once in a while. When you shoot this way you don’t see the results of your stills on the LCD screen so no chance to see that you’re overexposing and make adjustments. Also I don’t like shooting without looking through the viewfinder – it just feels unnatural.
Fortunately because I shot in RAW + JPEG I was able to recover by opening the RAW file, reducing the exposure and then setting the white balance manually.
This is what the camera gave me
I opened up the RAW file and reduced the exposure by about 1/2 a stop. Then I set the white balance manually by clicking the eye-dropper on the white sign. Here is what I got
If you’re not shooting RAW you can still make the adjustments to the JPEG but you may not be able to recover the detail in the overexposed areas like the faces. Here’s my attempt at improving the JPEG using Photoshop Elements.